cross country skiing and snowshoeing in Lake Placid, NY Region

Adding up all the cross-country ski trails in and around Lake Placid, NY reveals that the region stands as a major cross-country destination with 455 km of trails. Foremost is the Olympic Sports Complex complex (518-523-2811, www.orda.org), site of the Nordic and biathlon races during the 1980 Olympics. For a full page of info click Olympic Sports Complex. It has cross-country skiing you are unlikely to find elsewhere: 50 km of marked trails that average 15 ft. wide, regularly groomed and patrolled; bridges built especially for cross-country skiers so you don’t have to worry about traffic; snowmaking (5 km); and emergency phones. The complex has 10 marked loops offering one expert, six intermediate and three novice tours with additional expert skiing on the Porter Mountain racing loops. The Fresh Tracks program offers specialized ski experiences such as biathlon, Tai Chi, women only, skiing with kids, etc. CCSAA member

High Peaks Mountain Adventures (518-523-3764, www.highpeakscyclery.com) will make your backcountry adventure memories last a lifetime. For a full page of info click High Peaks Mountain Adventures. With 26 years of experience, High Peaks guides are licensed and certified mountain professionals that emphasize safety, courtesy, and fun in the heart of the Adirondack High Peaks region.

High Peak Mountain Adventure guides can customize courses and outings to meet specific needs for individuals, groups, families, students, and corporate clients. Services will include guiding or instruction for enthusiasts that range from first timer to advanced. There are guides and rental gear for all activities such as skiing, snowshoeing, camping, climbing, canoeing, and kayaking.

The JackRabbit Trail is a 56 km public ski trail that runs from (518-523-1365, http://www.lakeplacid.com/shared/whattodo/conditions-xc.cfm) Keene through Lake Placid and Saranac Lake to Paul Smith's College. There are four cross-country ski centers (Olympic Sports Complex, Cascade XC Center, Lake Placid Club Resort, and Whiteface Club Nordic Center) and two wilderness areas along the trail. The Adirondack Ski Touring Council administers and maintains the trail. Ski conditions: 518-523-1365. There is a trail fee required only for the groomed sections of the trail that correspond with the four cross-country ski centers.

The Cross Country Ski Areas of New York is an organization dedicated to cross country ski centers in the state of New York with groomed ski trails and services such as lessons, rentals, kids programs, food and beverage service, weather and ski conditions, and a Google map locater, and more.

The Mirror Lake Inn Resort & Spa in Lake Placid, NY is a luxury lakefront resort in Lake Placid set on a scenic knoll, which has received an "exceptional" rating for 24 years. Recognition awards have been from Travel + Leisure, Wine Spectator, Conde Nast Traveler, and more. The Mirror Lake Inn has scenic views of the Adirondacks, a 4-diamond culinary team, a full service spa, five lodging buildings, pools, private beach and boathouse, and it is only one block from Main Street in Lake Placid.

Ausable Chasm (518-834-7454, www.ausablechasm.com) in Ausable Chasm, NY is a 45-minute drive from Lake Placid and a unique and popular place for scenic site seers all year long. In the winter there are 16 km of trails half of which are groomed for xc skiing, There are separate trails for snowshoers. Free admission to the "Waterfall Walk" and a fee is required for the trail pass to use trails and see frozen waterfalls and unique rock formations.

The Lake Placid Club Resort has 25 km of trails and connects with the more secluded Jackrabbit Trail. The trails, which are on a golf course and in the forest are not open all the time. XC skiing and snowshoeing is a free amenity for lodging guests. Rentals for xc skiing and snowshoeing are available.

Cascade Cross Country Center in Lake Placid is an area that has 25 km of groomed trails and a good selection of xc ski equipment. CCSAA member

Snowshoeing trails crisscross the entire High Peaks Wilderness area—get maps and advice at the local High Peaks Cyclery or Eastern Mountain Sports Store on Lake Placid’s Main Street. For a more controlled snowshoe experience complete with bonfires to roast marshmallows and educational stops on the trail, stop at the High Falls Gorge center. Here you can follow a marked trek around the Ausable River gorge and be welcomed back with complimentary hot chocolate or coffee. Just south of Whiteface, High Falls Gorge is something different for families. Reservations recommended on weekends (518-946-2278).

According to "Best Backcountry Skiing in the Northeast" author David Goodman, the ski tour to Avalanche Pass and Lake Colden is one of the most spectacular ski tours in the east US. From Lake Placid, take Route 73 east to Adirondack Loj Road and go 5 miles to the end of the road to the ADK High Peaks Info Center. This is not a tour for beginning skiers.